The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.
April 10, 2018
This week was the final week of my Lakes Region Conservation Corps service, and so I wanted reflect on the experience in this journal. A little while back, around the AmeriCorps week of service, a few of the LRCC members here at the SLA were interviewed by an AmeriCorps VISTA member. He asked us some fairly generic questions about our service, including “Why did you want to be an AmeriCorps member?”, and at the time I just stuttered something out about serving within the community. While it wasn’t the worst answer for being totally off the cuff (you know how it is when someone unexpectedly points a camera at you), looking back at it I don’t think it was a correct response either. To truthfully answer the question about why I wanted to be an AmeriCorps member, well, I’d have to say I didn’t know. When I first got into the program, I had no idea what it really meant to be a part of national service. Some of the parts of the position description sounded interesting but didn’t quite encompass the opportunities and experiences I would be a part of as an LRCC member.
In the last almost half-year since I arrived in New Hampshire I have been able to do so many incredible things within this amazing community. Not only have I developed my own skills and professional experience, but the integration of conservation, education, and sustainable access that the SLA promotes allowed me to be part of something further reaching than just that. It’s been a unique opportunity being able to connect all sorts of people, from our dedicated volunteers to folks here to enjoy the lake for the first time, with the environment around them. Rather than asking why did I want to join AmeriCorps in the first place, I think the better question would be why did I sign up again? Even though this winter/spring term with the LRCC is all but over I’ll be back again for the summer/fall program, excited to continue the service work that has become such an important part of my life. All that said I am really sick of the snow and cold, so if it could hurry up and turn into summer by the time I get back in May that would be great.
Ben is from Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a degree in Biology. Click here to read Ben's bio.
Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.